Dramatic scenes outside Darwin Woolworths as tensions flare: ‘So sad’

Dramatic scenes outside Darwin Woolworths as tensions flare: ‘So sad’

Video of the moment a man introduces potted plants outside a Darwin Woolworths has sparked claims that residents are afraid to leave their homes as business owners say a change is badly needed.

The footage was uploaded online late Monday and shows the shirtless man grabbing a pot from inside the CBD Plaza and throwing it on the ground, sending dirt across the floor of the shopping complex.

A security guard manages to stop the man from throwing another before escorting him outside.

Last year, the same shopping plaza made national news when a large brawl broke out at the entrance to the Woolworths store.

The man is seen in the video throwing a plant pot where several others had been thrown on the ground earlier. Source: Reddit

The latest incident drew several comments from residents who said they no longer shop locally. A Reddit user claiming to be the interventionist security guard said he worked at the neighboring bus stop and the incident was “nothing compared to what we’re dealing with”.

“It’s an everyday occurrence. We see it day in and day out and no one comes before it’s too late.”

Yahoo News Australia contacted the Northern Territory Police about the incident.

Another user said the situation at three of the supermarket’s local stores was “why my family uses online shopping”, adding it was sad to see local stores “dying”.

“It’s no wonder why small businesses fail in Darwin,” said another.

Speaking to Yahoo News Australia on Tuesday, the manager of a cafe near the Woolworths said although there was a drop in business it was due to the festive season. “Things are actually a bit better now, with shoppers and office workers coming back,” she explained.

She said she had not seen alarm from customers over anti-social behavior in the CBD.

Darwin restaurateur fears burglary every day

However, restaurateur Frank Yeh, who owns nearby teppanyaki eatery Oka in Parap, told Yahoo News Australia he goes to bed every night wondering if the shop’s alarm will go off. Last year, the venue fell victim to a burglary.

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In 2019 he was forced to close his Palmerston restaurant and said crime played a major role in his decision. His shop window was smashed three times in a 10-day period and one of the offenders told him he did it because he was “bored”.

“It kept happening, I had to sleep in the restaurant. It was so sad that they even threw stones at me.”

Mr Yeh says crime in the city is as rampant as ever and says there is a strong desire among business owners for authorities to crack down on criminals. “If they’re not going to change the law, they’re not going to fix the problem,” he said.

Damage to Mr Yeh’s Palmerston restaurant sustained in 2019. He says he fears similar attacks every day. Source: Provided

Still, he said members of parliament who make such decisions “do not live in the real world” and must experience the problems first-hand to understand the issues.

“We keep talking about criminals’ rights, but what about citizens’ rights? We work hard, we pay our taxes and we have a right to feel safe.”

Alice Springs remains in the spotlight

It comes as crime rates have soared in the state’s Alice Springs, with restrictions on the sale of alcohol being enforced across the city in a bid to curb problems facing local residents.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited the area last week and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy hopes there will be a positive change in Alice Springs following the national spotlight on crime issues in the area.

Still, she warned against using army personnel to tackle the problem.

“In 2007, when it did happen with the military coming in and soldiers coming in, there was a huge level of panic and heightened concern,” she said.

“There is residual trauma from that experience for many families, and I would caution against wanting to call in the ADF.”

with AAP

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